The Archaeology of Water

  • From: February 26, 2013     To: February 26, 2013
The Archaeology of Water

Time: 18:30 until 21:00

Speaker: Dr Sven Ouzman

Date: 26 February

Venue: T H Barry Lecture Theatre, Iziko South African Museum
Cost: Members free-of-charge on presentation of a valid 2013 membership card
Non-members – R30

A lecture of Dr Sven Ouzman, Curator of Archaeology at Iziko South African Museum

Landscapes do not pre-exist people. Topography perhaps, but people make landscapes.Thus, while southern Africa might seem to us largely ‘arid’ it is, archaeologically-speaking, a wellspring of evidence of human life and thought from the deep past to the shallow present. Using a series of short case studies utilising evidentiary sources that include artefacts, ethnographies, place names, maps and the like, Dr Ouzman will show how gatherer-hunters, pastoralists, farmers, settlers have constructed and used water differently. For people ancestral to today’s San, water was the home of the rain-animal; for Khoekhoen herders it symbolised the onset of womanhood; for African farmers it constituted an origin site; for European settlers it allowed a topography of control and extraction. He will conclude with some thoughts about how an archaeological understanding of how people have used water in arid conditions may help us to better meet the challenges of living in a water scarce world where people, mining, climate change and he like all militate against us continuing to live in the way we do today, tomorrow.

Enquiries contact Maxine Davies
Friends of the South African Museum
P O Box 61 Cape Town 8000
Telephone +27 (0)21 481 3913
(Wednesdays and Fridays only)


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